A 14-year-old girl who was raped by a family member and then beaten into delivering a stillborn baby, later burned on a charcoal grill, has testified in the trial against a relative.
The unnamed teen’s pregnant stomach was stomped and bounced on by Lonnell McDonald to force an abortion in March 2013, Texas prosecutors said in opening statements of McDonald’s trial on Tuesday.
The stillborn child was then taken from the teen by relatives who burned the body on a charcoal grill before disposing of it in an unknown location, prosecutors said.
The teen, who is now 17, said her relatives took the baby and placed the child in a five-gallon bucket before she ever had the chance to see it, she testified on Tuesday.
Lonnell McDonald, 28, (pictured) is accused of stomping and bouncing on the teen’s pregnant stomach to force an abortion.
McDonald, who is charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder and aggravated assault, has pleaded not guilty, The Dallas News reported.
He faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted.
Three of the teen’s other family members have also been charged in the attack with conspiracy to commit capital murder.
Those relatives include her two cousins 27-year-old Cecila McDonald, who is married to Lonnell McDonald, and 28-year-old Cedric Jones Jr, and an aunt, 46-year-old Sharon Jones.
Her brother, 23-year-old Robert Cayald, who she told officials raped her in August 2012, is facing a sexual assault charge in the case.
The girl’s brother, 23-year-old Robert Cayald (left), who she told officials raped her in August 2012, is facing a sexual assault charge in the case. Her cousin Cedric Jones Jr has been charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder
The victim was repeatedly assaulted between January and March 2013 when she eventually gave birth to a stillborn baby at Cecila McDonald’s apartment.
The teen, who now lives with a foster family in Denton, said in court on Tuesday that she waited two years to report the attack hoping she would forget it had happened.
But she said something changed in 2015 when she reported it, noting, she ‘didn’t really care anymore because I was tired. Tired of everything’.
On Tuesday, prosecutors said that to this day they have no idea what happened to the stillborn baby.
‘We can’t tell you what happened to that baby, but we can tell you what happened to the teen,’ prosecutor Rachel Burris told jurors.
The young girl had told police she was sexually assaulted by her brother in 2012, but did not report the abuse because she was ‘embarrassed’, court documents state.
She told police she was a virgin at the time of the sexual assault and that her brother was the father, according to an arrest affidavit.
The victim eventually came forward to police on May 22, 2015, when she made a full statement to officers.
Back in January 2013, the suspects had discovered the girl was pregnant and began attempts of forcing the victim to abort her baby.
The teen said she told Cecila McDonald and Sharon Jones about the attack in March 2013 after the women said Cayald had abused Cecila McDonald’s three children.
The teen’s aunt, 46-year-old Sharon Jones (left) and her daughter 27-year-old Cecila McDonald (right) have been charged in the case. The teen testified that the women Googled how to induce a miscarriage before giving her birth control pills and cinnamon tablets
However, the women did not report the allegations to police and soon after McDonald ‘became very nervous’, worrying Child Protective Services would take away her children if they learned the teen was pregnant and living in the same home as Cayald, an affidavit states.
Cecila McDonald reportedly told the girl: ‘You ain’t about to get my kids taken away from me.’
So Sharon Jones and Cecila McDonald ‘took matters into their own hands’, police said.
The teen said the women searched online how to induce a miscarriage before purchasing several pills and making her take them.
The teen was allegedly given ‘multiple doses’ of birth control pills as well as emergency contraception pills and cinnamon tablets, according to an affidavit.
When the pills failed to abort the baby, they are accused of pinning the girl down on Sharon Jone’s living room floor while Lonnell McDonald ‘repeatedly bounced up and down’ on the girl, as well as kicking her, until her water broke.
The final assault, according to one witness who accompanied the girl to police, lasted six hours, it is said.
‘It was like every time I woke up, they were still there,’ the teen said in court.
The attack continued until the girl started bleeding heavily and delivered a stillborn baby about two hours later.
The infant’s body was then burned on a charcoal grill in an attempt to dispose of the body, the affidavit claims.
After that did not work, Sharon Jones paid Cedric Jones Jr $25 to ‘take care of the rest of it’, according to the affidavit.
He allegedly placed the baby inside a plastic bag and disposed of it in an unknown location.
The teen and her five siblings were living with Cecila McDonald after they moved to Texas from California in 2010 after their grandmother, who cared for them, died.
The year before, Cayald had moved to North Texas and had been ordered to stay away from his sister, prosecutors said. It is not clear why he was told to stay away.
The teen and her siblings and originally moved to live with Sharon Jones in order to avoid being placed in foster care, The Dallas News reported.
But the teen and two of her siblings moved into Cecila McDonald’s apartment where both Cayald and Lonnell McDonald lived.
The teen testified that she and her siblings were told to lie to Child Protective Services workers so they would not find out the children were living with Cayald.
McDonald’s defense has urged jurors to pay close attention to evidence presented during the trial.